It's Googlemania on, where we aim to give you everything you need to know -- and then some -- about the search giant's impending initial public offering. Today, Bill Mann covers how the Dutch auction process will work, and Salim Haji offers up what it will take for Google to succeed. Enjoy.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Th e TiVo Paradox

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)

Would you rather be rich or popular? That's the question that TiVo(Nasdaq: TIVO) shareholders should be asking themselves. With the number of subscribers doubling to 1.6 million over the past year, the pioneer in digital video recorders is sporting the Miss Congeniality sash, but will it ever don the tiara of Miss Profitability?

Last night, the company reported impressive growth -- everywhere short of the bottom line. TiVo tacked on 264,000 new users, most coming as a result of a partnership with DirecTV(NYSE: DTV). Net revenues rose by just 21%, but $22.2 million of a total $34.5 million were service revenues, which soared by 74% year over year.

So, you say you love TiVo? You can't live without it and want to back that adoration with equity ownership? You're smitten, bought a ring, and want to make a Mrs. out of Miss Congeniality? You're not alone. Our own Motley Fool Stock Advisor singled out the stock months ago. However, you may want to hold off on setting that date until the company proves it can be profitable.

The April quarter bears that out with a cruel paradox. The net loss widened even as TiVo's per-share loss shrank from $0.12 to $0.11. How so? Well, shares outstanding zoomed from 64 million to 80 million. Want to throw some salt into the open wound of that cruel paradox? Even though diluted shares rose by nearly 25%, cash, assets, and equity have all fallen.

You can take comfort in knowing that you can buy TiVo cheaper today than when institutional investors acquired 8 million new shares at $9.30 earlier this year -- or you can cock a brow and wonder why that's the case, and realize that the devil is in the diluted details.

The saving grace is that TiVo does expect to turn the corner and produce sustainable profitability by the end of the next fiscal year. If so, that would go a long way toward overcoming the need to print new shares at an alarming rate. TiVo's got such a great story to tell. Ask any subscriber, and you'll hear that it's got a great service to sell, too.

Great! But the company has to go that extra mile and dig itself out of the red if it wants to carve the same growth path as more successful Stock Advisor pioneers like Netflix(Nasdaq: NFLX) and eBay(Nasdaq: EBAY) have done. Nice sash, TiVo. Now go for the tiara.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been happy with his TiVo for a couple of years. He owns shares in Netflix.

Di scussion Board of the Day: TiVo

Are you a TiVo subscriber? Do you swear by the service or were you left expecting more from the experience? What about the company's competition? All this and more -- in the TiVo discussion board. Only on

palmOne Writes Off Xerox

By Seth Jayson

It has taken years, and in the process, handheld computer maker palmOne (Nasdaq: PLMO) has been through more costume changes than Nathan Lane on opening night. But last week, a judge invalidated a patent claim, effectively dismissing a long-running, but potentially draining, lawsuit from Xerox(NYSE: XRX).

At issue was the handheld's very soul, the quick and useful Graffiti system of shorthand by which users enter text into the device. Xerox filed a lawsuit seven years ago, alleging infringement on its patent for "unistroke" symbols. The litigation haunted palmOne's steps until the judgment, though that seems odd since the spinoff PalmSource(Nasdaq: PSRC) is technically in charge of the operating system.

The dismissal came because the judge believed palmOne's argument for "prior art." In a nutshell, it stated that similar shorthand recognition systems were in existence prior to Xerox's claim, and so the latter's patent should never have been granted. The ruling shows the danger in patent litigation. If you lose, you can leave the courtroom with much less than you had going in.

What does this mean for palmOne shareholders? Not much, I would argue. Sure, it's nice not to have the threat of damages or future royalty payments hanging over the company, but shareholders have long been numbed to this particular fright. The future looks cloudy. Sales -- not to mention the reporting -- have been less than stellar. Competition is stiff, and the firm's product line, outside of the Treo phone/PDA combo, hasn't sparkled. My own house was Palm-powered for years, but we recently jumped ship for the excellent and inexpensive offerings from Sony(NYSE: SNE).

Earlier this month, the stock took a run on some far-fetched speculation that Dell(Nasdaq: DELL) might be interested in buying the firm. If you want a wild ride, palmOne can give you that, but until there's some better evidence of solid sales, I wouldn't touch this one with a 10-foot stylus.

Fool contributor Seth Jayson has a strong "buy" on Graffiti, but he owns no company mentioned. View his Fool profile here.

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Steel's Staring Contest

By Rich Smith

Over the past few months, I have written several times about the amazing profits being racked up by some (but not all) of America's steel companies. Firms such as Reliance Steel(NYSE: RS) and Nucor(NYSE: NUE) have been posting impressive revenue and earnings increases recently. While not all their peers have done so well, the trend has certainly been a positive one for steel producers and their shareholders.

In fact, some of these companies have felt so much in control of their destiny, that they threw caution to the wind and risked the ire of America's famously litigious corporate citizens by imposing surcharges on their products. This, even when their supply contracts with their customers clearly specified set prices for their goods.

Big mistake. Huge mistake.

So learned Dutch steel maker Ispat International's(NYSE: IST) Chicago subsidiary, Ispat Inland, last week, when a Michigan circuit court judge imposed a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the company's attempts to impose surcharges on sales of steel to Whirlpool(NYSE: WHR). For Whirlpool, winning a TRO is not the same thing as winning its lawsuit -- that will not be decided until June. But it is, at least, a sign that Whirlpool has a legal leg to stand on, and suggests that Whirlpool will more likely than not be the victor in this legal war.

Moreover, Whirlpool's TRO win bodes ill for two companies imposing similar surcharges on steel and steel parts supplied to General Motors(NYSE: GM): Steel Dynamics(Nasdaq: STLD) and Textron(NYSE: TXT). GM sued both companies over their surcharges recently in Oakland County, Mich. While the Whirlpool lawsuit was filed in a different county, judges in the GM lawsuits will be deciding their issues based on the same Michigan case law that guided the judge in the Whirlpool matter.

Were I a betting man, I would be placing my money on both Whirlpool and GM being the ultimate winners in their respective lawsuits. As for the losers, those would include not just Steel Dynamics, Textron, and Ispat, but all the other steel makers (and shareholders in those steel makers) currently signed to supply contracts. They would be forced by court judgments, or fear of court judgments, to drop their surcharges and excess profits and agree to be compensated at the previously agreed rates.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Qu ote of Note

"If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mo re on Today

There's a method to finding tomorrow's home runs. Tom Gardner runs down how to Find Lynch's 10-Baggers.... And don't forget to check out Supermarkets: Opportunity or Value Trap?

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